This week at TreeHugger: A big LED breakthroughat Purdue University could change the world and even kill CFLs. Some competition for LCD technology: Telescopic pixels work on the same principle as the telescopes that astronomers use, and are much more energy efficient than other screens. And finally, Matsusitha is investing in a new factory to increase its lithium-ion battery production by 300%, and some of those will go to various kinds of hybrid and electric cars.

The incandescent lightbulb wastes 90% of the electricity as heat is dying, we all know that. But a new breakthrough in solid state lighting might also kill compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) faster than some expected. Scientists at Purdue University have figured out how to manufacture LED solid-state lights on regular metal-coated silicon wafers (more details below). What this means is: much lower costs.


Microsoft Research has published a paper in Nature Photonics about a new kind of monitor that could someday replace LCDs. Their 'telescopic' pixels (pictured under magnification on the left) use two micromirrors allowing them to switch completely on or off in 1.5 millisecond. Because they are so fast, you don't need 3 sub-pixels, reducing cost and complexity. But the best part is that about 36% of the light emitted by the backlight is getting through, making them potentially about 3.6 and 7 times more power-efficient than LCDs. But that's not all: Computer simulation show this could reach 56% with further design improvements. That would be up to 11.2 times better than LCDs!

Matsushita, who owns the Panasonic brand and has a partnership with Toyota for the development of automotive technologies, has decided to invest 100 billion Yen ($951 million) into a new litium-ion manufacturing plant in Osaka. It will be one of the biggest in the world, allowing the company to triple its output an increase of 50 million battery units per month.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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